U.S. Capitol Police acted as “tour guides” for Jacob Chansley, the infamous “Q Shaman,” during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, according to video footage released by Tucker Carlson on Fox News on Monday evening.
Carlson and his producers were given nearly 41,000 hours of footage from January 6 by new Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), after Democrats had suppressed it, releasing only what they wanted to be seen.
Much of the footage, Carlson said, was not relevant, such as surveillance footage of empty rooms far from the events of the day. But the rest overturned Democrats’ claim of an “insurrection” to overthrow the government.
The video “does not support the claim that January 6th was an insurrection. In fact, it demolished that claim,” Carlson said. While some footage showed violence and vandalism, much of it showed people moving through the Capitol peacefully, often being escorted by members of the Capitol Police, who did not confront them but rather opened doors for them.
While the police may have had no choice, given that then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had turned down requests for National Guard assistance, Carlson argued that it showed many of those in the Capitol lacked an intention to commit crimes.
In the case of Chansley, whose buffalo-horned costume became the iconic image of the Capitol riot, Carlson showed Capitol Police guiding him through hallways and even opening locked doors to the Senate chamber.
????BREAKING: Never before seen video of January 6 shows Jacob Chansley, the QAnon Shaman, being led through the Capitol by police the entire time that he was in the building. pic.twitter.com/rikoRMWezF
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 7, 2023
Chansley, who served in the U.S. Navy, would later say in a jailhouse interview that he regretted not knowing that he was breaking the law, trusting that because police officers were helping him, his actions were condoned.
Carlson argued that Chansley, who was sentenced to 41 months in prison, and other defendants did not have access to the full footage and potentially exculpatory evidence, which he said had been withheld by Democrats.
There was some dispute about that online. Politico legal affairs reported Kyle Cheney reported on Twitter that his sources within Capitol Police said Chansley and other defendants had access to the footage in their trials.
Capitol Police department sources tell me the footage Tucker Carlson aired tonight of Jacob Chansley (the Q Shaman) was virtually all available to Jan. 6 defendants via discovery — not part of some newly unearthed batch.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) March 7, 2023
However, the public had never seen that footage, as it had been placed under a protective order, meaning that the public impression of Chansley’s behavior and that of other non-violent defendants remained incomplete.
Carlson claimed that Capitol Police had vetted the footage he aired on Monday, and asked for only small changes. CNN reported that some sources said he had only vetted some of the footage with Capitol Police.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.